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Temporary Residency Visas

You can apply for a temporary residency visa from the Department of Home Affairs. Immigrants entering South Africa will normally obtain a temporary visa first as this will allow them to reside in the country for 12 to 48 months. Of course this will depend on the visa that is applied for. 

The main reason for such an approach is because it can take a long time for a permanent residency to be issued. While they wait for this to be issued they will be allowed to stay in the country. 

There are a few different types of temporary residency visas which are issued. We list these below with the duration in which they are issued for as a reference.

  • A temporary business visa is issued for a duration of 12 months however it can also be valid until the applicant’s passport expires. 
  • Temporary work visas are issued for two years in most cases, however the duration of the employment offer is a deciding factor of this. 
  • The period for which a temporary retired persons visa is issued for is dependent on the financial situation of the immigrant, however, 4 years is the maximum period that this visa can be issued for.
  • Temporary study visas are issued for the duration for the course being studied.
  • Temporary spousal visas are issued for a period of three years.
  • Temporary life partner visas are also issued for a three year period.
  • Temporary relative visas are issued for a period of 2 to 4 years, and
  • Temporary financially independent visas entitle the applicant to apply for permanent residency immediately. Should the process take a long time then a a temporary retired persons visa can be application can be made.

 A fear that many immigrants with a temporary visa face is not knowing what happens after it expires.

In most cases the individual will apply for their permanent residency and temporary residency at the same time. Usually, it can take 12 to 30 months for the Department of Home Affairs to process the application. 

But, the temporary residency will most likely not expire before the applicants permanent residency has been issued. In such a case, the issues that arise from a temporary visa expiring are nullified. 

If the applicant is unable to apply for a permanent residency or if the Department of Home Affairs hasn’t issued the permanent residency yet, then an application needs to be made for the renewal of the temporary visa.

In order to renew or extend a temporary visa, what should the applicant do?

While the process of renewal is fairly straightforward, the criteria to follow will depend on the type of temporary that the applicant holds. 

For instance, if either a spousal or life partner visa were to be renewed then the applicant will need to prove that the relationship is still in existence.

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